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Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 5:29 pm on 25th June 1996.

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Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry Minister of State (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) 5:29 pm, 25th June 1996

I am glad to say that so far about 170,000 cattle have been slaughtered under the over-30-month scheme. Nearly 30,000 cattle a week are now being processed, but at the outset the NFU and the Country Landowners Association agreed with Ministers that priority should be given to clean beef because concern was being expressed that clean beef farmers did not have the option of milk cheques and that their animals were getting fatter and heavier and needed to be processed. We have acted in accordance with that agreement.

As cold storage capacity increases, we shall increase the cull. Britain has a finite rendering capacity. We cannot invent and create more rendering capacity overnight, but we are ensuring that the scheme is operating properly and that there is no malpractice.